Tuesday night’s All Star Game at Yankee Stadium was the kind of game that reminded everyone why baseball’s All Star Game is so much better than any of the other major sports. It was so old school — players getting tossed out at the plate, pitchers turning in tough performances — and was a fitting goodbye to Yankee Stadium in the last season of the old ballpark.
The only thing better than the 4-3 win by the American League in the 15th inning would have been if the National League had won, to stop the AL winning streak at 11 and give the game a more competitive edge. Then again, the chip on the shoulder of NL players next year in St. Louis could provide yet another great game.
There was the fear that the game was heading to a finish like the 2002 debacle, when both teams ran out of players in extra innings. But they were playing Tuesday night until there was a winner — even if a position player had to go to the mound. The game has finally recovered from Joe Torre’s influence, when the former Yankee manager, in the AL dugout for all those years, told players it was not a big deal and downplayed the importance of winning. You got the feeling that Terry Francona didn’t deliver that same message.